So many choices!

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by DM23, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. DM23

    DM23 Funster

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    Over the last 3 weeks since my first post on here, I've been reading and reading, and we've been visiting as many dealerships as possible to try to decide which layout and features work best for us. We've confirmed that we want to keep it as short as possible (max 7 metres), 2 berth, with an end lounge and decent sized shower room. We'd prefer a newer van if we can get one - much prefer the look and feel of the inside, but we know that this is a big ask on our original budget so we've increased the budget to £30k - but for that price it needs to tick all the boxes (awning & bike rack, preferably solar panel and reversing camera too). Ideally I'm hoping to find something a little cheaper so we can add the bits we want ;-)

    But I need some help please.
    We've not actually decided what model - they all seem to have their pros and cons. We have a shortlist of 2007/2008 models which are coming in around the right kind of price:
    http://www.motorhomedepot.com/M-6987-Autocruise-STARDREAM
    http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk/motorhomes/stock-item/autocruise-stardream-29473
    http://www.westcountrymotorhomes.co.uk/21/used-motorhomes/prod/2014/2007-fiat-ace-airstream-630-pr

    But I've also found this: http://www.amberleisure.com/used-mo...ey-approach-625-autograph-motorhome-23121572# for the same price. Its much newer (and prettier LOL) but has quite high mileage - is the mileage enough to affect the price that much? I don't know whether its too good to be true or if its the older vans which are overpriced? We'd like to go and see this one, but it'd be quite a journey.

    Edit - just figured it out - the Bailey is an ex-hire. Are ex-hires a good deal? Or should we steer well clear?
     
  2. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

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    In theory ex hire vans should be mechanically sound but you need to be extra vigilant with the habitation area. Most hires won't be by experienced motorhomers so the living equipment can inadvertently get misused (abused!) IMO. As with all perspective purchases go over it with a fine tooth comb, including checking for damp and check the fine print on any warranty papers.

    Good luck with the search.
     
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  3. Phillybarbour

    Phillybarbour Read Only Funster

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    As said above mechanically the van should be fine, commercial vans are driven very hard by various drivers.

    The habitation area is a different matter. Best bet is to sit in the van without the salesman for a couple of hours just looking and looking. There will be damage you just need to see it and decide if you can live with it. The time also allows you the confirm you are happy with the layout.

    Even on a new van I always sit in there for a couple of hours to confirm I'm happy, it's the best way by far. Good luck.
     
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  4. DM23

    DM23 Funster

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    Thanks for the advice, the mechanical side of things worries me less than the habitation stuff - we've managed to buy decent secondhand cars before ;-) but the habitation side is new to us.

    That prompts a question - a number of motorhomes we've looked around have had damage (to cupboards, sinks etc.). We had kind of assumed that as part of the negotiations we could get them repaired before sale, but I take it from your comment that its more normally sold-as-seen?

    Also - I take it these bars on the back are for fitting a bike rack? So it should be an easy job for us to fit one ourselves - no drilling of the walls needed?
     
  5. MH 55 FUN

    MH 55 FUN Funster

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    Remember to factor the MH's payload into your equations
     
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  6. Cal54

    Cal54 Funster Life Member

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    If purchasing from a dealer I would expect them to repair everything that you spot as faulty/broken. The problem is toting all the faults! As said above the more time you can spend in the van, withouT a salesman telling you it the best thing since sliced bread the better.
    Most modern vans will have the plates in place for a bike rack to be fitted. Personally I much prefer towbar mounted bike racks. Bikes do put pressure on the rear of vans so be cautious of the weight.
     
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  7. DM23

    DM23 Funster

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    Payload on all the ones we've looked at so far is (theoretically) around the 500kg mark - I've read plenty of threads about payload though, so one of the first things we'll be doing is taking a trip to the weighbridge ;-) Luckily our bikes are pretty light - only 13kg each so a rear wall carrier should be fine.

    I've worked out that our equipment (and us!) should come to just over 300kg in total - which leaves plenty of weight for souvenirs (of the wine and cheese variety).

    The more I look at the Bailey the more I like it. The Stardream is my second favourite and its probably a more sensible choice, but the Bailey gives me the warm fuzzy feeling. Just need to convince hubby that we need to take a roadtrip at the weekend - if it's not sold by then!
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Staying under 7m is a good idea, but coach-built vans under 7m can be all 'cab' If I had 30k and wanted to stay under 7m I'd definitely go for an A class, they utilise that space so much more effectively. Something like this small Hymer or this still gives you your rear lounge but you get the legendary comfy drop down bed so no making beds up every evening. Choosing an A class on that budget means the van will be a little older, but trust me, Hymers like that one are not considered old till they are over 25.

    Best of luck with your search (y)
     
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  9. scotzsue

    scotzsue Funster

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    Just be aware that any manufacturers warranty is usually void if the vehicle has been used for hire. Would advise too that once you think you have the right van, hire one with the same layout and storage, what you think you want and what you can live with may not be the same. Enjoy your search and beware of any van which has a smell of pot pourri or air freshner or bleach or neutrodol and even in one case Jeyes fluid, wonder about what they are masking.
     
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  10. Paul an Jane MK

    Paul an Jane MK Funster

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    They all look like nice motorhomes, Bailey seems particularly good value. You may need to see it in the flesh as it is amazing how good vehicles can look in a photo but got to be worth the trip.

    Layout is such a personal preference and we nearly gave up before we found our rear L - shaped lounge that gave us the open spacious feel we wanted. I know some people prefer a fixed bed but we have an over cab bed but so far we have used the rear lounge and I make up the bed with a mattress topper and sheet while my wife cleans her teeth in the bathroom and just takes a few minutes. For us this is a small price to pay for the extra useable space during the day but really down to personal choice which is probably why so many different layouts available.

    Might be worth using the search function on this site to see if any problems associated with the makes and models you are looking at, I know one of the Baileys had an issue with water collecting in the overcab section but I think that was the one with the overhead bed (someone posted a video of several gallons of water pouring from underneath when motorhome moved from its parking space.)

    Good luck and good advice to sit in the motorhome for a while to be sure and if anything else while we sat in ours having made up our mind to buy it the salesman popped his head in the door to offer additional inducement that while not neccesary was gratefully receive LoL.

    Paul
     
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  11. DM23

    DM23 Funster

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    I quite like A classes, but hubby doesn't. But on the other hand he likes panel vans and I don't. For the sake of marital harmony I think we'll be going with a coachbuilt one ;)

    Good point about the manufacturer's warranty - I didn't know that. We did think about hiring one but came to the conclusion that whilst useful, it would put a dent in our pot of money so decided against it in the end. It would have been nice, but we know how we live when we're camping in a tent and my parents had a caravan so we can at least have a good go at imagining how it will all work :D
     
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  12. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    We're in the same place but have now narrowed it down (we think) to a van (at last check - it changes you see).

    This is a local hire place with a very good rep:

    http://www.bantam-camping.ch/camping-detail.php?detail_id=2576&mag=3

    1 year old and less than 30k km they provide a 2 year warranty and full service etc before delivery but not available until November and I think we need our fix before then.
     
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  13. kevan

    kevan Funster Life Member

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    don't worry if not smokers they will tell if its been smoked in, and if they are smokers it will not matteer anyway :eek:
     
  14. DM23

    DM23 Funster

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    Very true! I have to say that we've been in some very whiffy ones whilst looking around - one of which started me off sneezing like the worst hayfever day ever (dread to think what it was:sick:). We're not smokers so I'm sure we'll be able to pick up on any suspicious smells.
     
  15. TUCANO

    TUCANO Funster

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    There is an often quoted theory that the third van you buy will be THE van you should have bought first so,

    1st you buy an A class,
    2nd you buy a panel van,
    3rd you buy the van you both want :whistle2:

    Enjoy the fun.
     
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  16. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    Tell them repair it FIRST then I'll put a deposit down
    It's easier than an argument over what they would or wouldn't do
     
  17. DM23

    DM23 Funster

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    Well just to update this, we went to see the Bailey....and as you might have worked out from my shiny new profile picture we bought it :D There's a couple of cosmetic things they need to repair so its going to be a couple of weeks before we can take another day trip to pick it up.

    Very happy and exited (y)
     
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